Published in the 1/11/11 issue of the Suburban Journals
Business Deal Sparked After Golf Course Quip
What began as a quip on a golf course evolved into a business transaction for Jeff Herr and Mike Ogle.
One day on the links last year, Herr — owner of Cullop-Jennings Florist in Collinsville — jokingly suggested Ogle purchase his business.
Herr, who owned the shop for 18 years, was kidding at first, but the two got talking and realized they were on to something.
“We stopped joking around after a little bit,” Ogle said.
The two golf buddies sealed the deal in November for the 517 W. Clay St. storefront, making Ogle only the fifth owner of the shop since it opened 72 years ago. (Neither side would disclose the sale price.)
Ogle said the primary appeal for him was the long-standing history and brand of the business, which originated in 1939 on Main Street and later moved to a custom-built shop in 1947.
“It is rooted in the community here,” he said. “The location is like the name. Everyone knows where we’re at and who we are — it’s highly recognizable in Collinsville.”
Ogle, who had been working in sales and marketing, said he hopes to use his experience to promote the quality of work the five designers produce.
“It’s all a manufacturing process,” he said. “Whether you’re building a machine or building a flower arrangement, you’re marketing and selling products.”
He said his first task is to assess the goals of the shop and figure out new ways to sell merchandise.
“We have competition now that we didn’t have in 1939,” Ogle said. “Our main focus is weddings, funerals and special events. Our focus is also on making sure we continue to produce quality.”
Herr plans to stay involved.
“I wasn’t going to throw him into the wolves. I’ve got a lot of time invested — this is special to me,” Herr said.
Ogle said he’d like to open up several more shops in the Glen Carbon and Edwardsville area.
“I envision the store being the place to go for weddings and special events,” Ogle said. “We’ve already branched into commercial accounts. We want to do more with hotels, restaurants and local businesses in several different areas.”
Ogle said he plans to continue supporting local teams and events in Downtown Collinsville.
“We have always been a part of the community, but we want to do more,” Ogle said.
– Shannon Philpott